Manatee County OKs 2024 budget with money for traffic, public safety and park upgrades

The Manatee County Commission has approved a $2.9 billion 2023-2024 budget, which includes funding for transportation improvements, government salary increases and upgrades to recreational areas.

Board members voted unanimously to adopt the budget following a series of public meetings this summer. In the past two years, commissioners voted to reduce the tax rate, but the rate will remain the same for property owners this year.

Based on the 6.2326 tax rate, the owner of a Manatee County home worth about $325,000 can expect to pay roughly $2,025 in property taxes this year. Additional taxes are paid to the local school district and municipalities, and tax discounts are available for homesteaded properties.

Due to a 21.3% increase in home values throughout the county since last year, property tax payments are expected to increase for residents. Homesteaded properties are capped at 3%, but that restriction does not apply to apartment complexes, second homes and rental properties.

Compared to earlier this year when county officials first unveiled the budget, property values came in higher than expected. That change along with a budget carryover of $650 million from ongoing projects saw the total budget increase from $2.1 billion to $2.9 billion, county finance officials say.

County parks, including Clemons Pool, Premier Sports Campus and the Buffalo Creek soccer fields are set to receive upgrades, as well. Also planned are intersection improvements throughout the county on highly traveled roads such as Upper Manatee River Road, 59th Street West and Moccasin Wallow Road.

“I’m excited about 44th Avenue East getting completed, and there’s major work going on at Moccasin Wallow, along with the plan to four-lane Fort Hamer Road,” said Commissioner James Satcher. “I know we all wish government projects went faster, but this board of county commissioners is stepping on the gas and turning on the afterburners.”

The county also approved an updated Capital Improvement Plan, which includes money to purchase a new landfill site, build two new facilities for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and reduce flooding in Bayshore Gardens and Samoset.

“This is by far the largest (Capital Improvement Plan) that Manatee County has seen,” said Sheila McLean, the county’s chief financial officer.

Also included in the budget is a pay raise of up to 5% for county employees and the creation of 58 new positions. McLean said the additional jobs are meant to help keep upcoming county projects flowing smoothly.

Visit www.MyManatee.org/budget for more information on Manatee County’s 2023-24 budget.

Manatee County officials plan to purchase a new landfill site. The Lena Road Landfill is shown in this Bradenton Herald file photo.
Manatee County officials plan to purchase a new landfill site. The Lena Road Landfill is shown in this Bradenton Herald file photo.
Manatee County has plans to four-lane Fort Hamer Road.
Manatee County has plans to four-lane Fort Hamer Road.
Residents are requesting Manatee County officials build a 50-meter swimming pool at Premier Sports Campus because a 25-meter pool would be too small for competitive events. The pool would be built near the East County Library, shown June 22, 2022, which is now under construction.
Residents are requesting Manatee County officials build a 50-meter swimming pool at Premier Sports Campus because a 25-meter pool would be too small for competitive events. The pool would be built near the East County Library, shown June 22, 2022, which is now under construction.